Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Life as a Groupie ( but not in a creepy way)

Lil living out of a suitcase

Ok, so maybe January 2009 does not suck as bad as I previously posted. Lils and I have been having lots of fun traveling with Ben for the past week.The children's choir from Watoto in Kampala, Uganda, arrived for their Canadian tour this past weekend. Lily and I decided to join Ben over in Vancouver while he works with the choir on their concert sales strategies. I feel like a groupie following around my husband, staying in hotels and going to concerts at night!

We traveled over on the ferry this past Saturday and that is when all the fun started... The Watoto kids' planes were delayed literally days. Some of them left Uganda on Friday and did not arrive in Canada until 1AM on Monday morning! The kids range in age from 7-11 and all had amazing attitudes considering they were dealing with major jet lag. Ben and I also encountered a slight glitch in our plans. After having a fun dinner with some of our Langley friends we headed out for Camp Stillwood (where the Watoto kids were practicing before the launch of their tour). While on a dark road, in the middle of farm country, our car decided to stop working. We felt it lurch forward and then smelled burning rubber- generally not good signs. So we pulled over on the side of the farm road at 10:30pm, pulled our our cell phone and tried to figure out what we were going to do. Poor little Lily was fast asleep and our car was definitely not going to move another inch. Thankfully Ben has a super, nice, younger brother who currently lives in Langley. He gave up his Saturday night to drive out to the middle of nowhere, pick us all up and deliver us to our camp at the top of a mountain. I think he probably made it home at 2AM. Thank you Eric. You saved our butts.

After our little car adventure we knew that things could only get better. The camp was beautiful and had amazing food. Good camp food, those words don't usually go together do they? Ben was busy sorting through loads of items brought over from Africa to be sold at the concerts. The kids practiced for a long time getting their performance down to a T. Lily practiced her crawling and I mostly read books.

We are now currently driving around in a rented Pontiac van while our car is being repaired. I am normally anti- van. It was embarrassing to drive around my parents' caravan when I was 16 and I figured it would still be embarrassing to drive one at 27. To my surprise (and demise) I actually like driving that hideous thing around. It is so much easier to put Lil in her seat and we can throw piles of stuff everywhere in this vehicle. I am not saying that I am going to trade in my SUV for a van anytime soon but I concede that once we have a few kids it won't be quite as terrible as I envisioned to drive one of those behemoths. I will just buy one with a DVD player and a plush interior.

But I digress... back to the choir. The Watoto Children's choir had a fantastic start to their Canadian tour at a little church in Fort Langley. The kids are fun to watch- they are awesome dancers, singers and story-tellers. It is strange to think that these innocent little kids have experienced difficulties in their short lives that I cannot begin comprehend. Watoto sends out a few different choirs around the world to check out when one is coming to a town near you check out their site here. The concerts are entertaining and all the money raised goes straight to the organization to help out more aids and war orphans. These kids will melt your heart and this is coming from someone who is not a sap. So check it out!

The Watoto Choir at their first Canadian Concert of 2009